Dirk Nowitzki Can Still Play Basketball at a High Level
He is likely, however, to opt out of the last year of his 3-year, $25 million contract that he signed in the summer of 2014.
He will turn 38 years old in June and will be entering his 19th season in the league. Nowitzki is hoping to remain with the Mavericks -- unless the team decides to rebuild rather than to contend for the NBA Finals.
How did the NBA’s sixth-leading scorer of all time play last season?
Box Score Numbers
The Mavericks finished the year with a 42-40 record, good for the 6 seed in the Western Conference. Dirk led the team in scoring, at 18.3 points per game, and grabbed 6.5 rebounds per game. He shot 44.8% from the field and 36.8% from behind the arc.
He was one of only eight players in the NBA to put up those numbers this season.
Dirk has always been a stretch-four player, but this year, he shot the most three-pointers per game since his 2002-03 campaign, averaging 4.6 attempts per game.
Looking at his per-36-minute numbers, his performance this season was not far off from his career averages. Per-36, Nowitzki scored 20.9 points per game (22.5 career average) and corralled 7.4 rebounds per game (8.0 career average).
Nowitzki ranked 42nd in the league with a 4.1 nERD this season, which is in the same company as Andre Drummond (3.9) and Pau Gasol (4.5). This means that Dirk would’ve added about four wins to a team full of league-average players.
In terms of Net Rating, Nowitzki posted a +3.6 this season, with a 107.7 Offensive Rating and a 104.1 Defensive Rating.
Lastly, Dirk’s Player Efficiency Rating this season was a 19.0, the exact same as Kevin Love and slightly below Draymond Green (19.3).
Obviously, none of these statistics can individually tell the whole story of Dirk’s 2015-16 production. However, altogether, they do show that he was a solid contributor for a Mavericks squad that finished over .500 and made the playoffs.
On what will likely be a team-friendly deal the next two seasons, Nowitzki will certainly be an asset as the Mavericks try to improve on their three consecutive first-round playoff exits.